In many companies, content marketing is one of the basic strategies to generate leads. B2B companies like positioning themselves as experts in a particular market segment, and most importantly, in many cases, the amount of created content has a direct impact on the number of new sales opportunities.
During numerous meetings with customers where we talk about improving their process of creating and publishing content, I often hear: “But my employees don’t want to/can’t/don’t have time to write and something else is always their priority.” I notice this particularly in companies which don’t have marketing departments or people responsible solely for creating and distributing content, and their blog articles are signed with names of company specialists.
At this point, you should ask yourself a question: Is it really the case that your employees don’t have the time or are they just using excuses because they don’t want to write or simply dislike it?
Why your employees don’t want to create content?
Let’s look at the Eisenhower Matrix, one of the effective priority management methods:
Your employees will almost always choose to focus on the work for the customer instead of writing articles for the company blog because it is an important and urgent task, that is, a task which must be completed as a priority. On the other hand, creating content is important, but it’s never urgent from today’s perspective. Therefore, it’s frequently pushed aside until the end of the day, week and/or to-do list. As a result, you can be sure that there will be new tasks leading to postponing writing to an even more distant future. If, additionally, your employees don’t like writing — it will certainly be the case.
Of course, if your employees don’t write the article right away, your company’s agenda won’t be compromised in the short run. However, if it isn’t properly planned and executed systematically, it will affect the number of leads, the volume of new sales and, consequently, the condition of the company in the long run.
How to encourage employees to create content?
The implementation of systematic content creation in the company is difficult. So how do you create a process that will work for years? Here are 6 tips on what the process should look like:
1. Determine responsibility for the content marketing process
If no one in the company is responsible for the content process, no one will set deadlines and enforce keeping them. In the best-case scenario, it will lead to publishing on the blog at irregular intervals. In the worst — no publications at all. Assign one person who will take responsibility for coming up with new topics and assigning people to write on them, setting deadlines and making sure the authors deliver.
2. Agree on delivery deadlines
Each article should have a strictly defined deadline determined by two parties: the person responsible for the process (see point 1) and the author of the article. This way, the person who writes has a specific and realistic deadline that is adjusted to their availability, and the person responsible for the project has the authority to enforce it.
The deadline also can’t be defined too generally, for example, “in two weeks time” or “after finishing this project”. It should contain a specific date, for example, 30 June at 12:00, so that you can avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.
3. Divide the writing into stages
Many people who haven’t had much experience with writing so far think that they will sit down to write a whole article once and will do it from top to bottom. However, you must realise that writing a blog post can take up to several hours. Finding a few hours during one working day is often close to impossible. Not to mention the fact that every article should be read several times on other days (with fresh eyes) to make sure that there are no unwanted typos.
Divide the writing into stages such as, for instance, research, writing an outline, and then the final version of the article. This will help you find the time to write and use it more efficiently.
If the process is divided into parts, the chances that editing the content would make many hours of work go down the drain will be reduced to a minimum. If the quality control of content takes place on several stages (e.g. title, outline, version 1.0, version 2.0), then not only are better texts created, but also wasted efforts resulting from the editorial process are reduced to a minimum.
4. Create calendar events for writing
Dedicated events in the calendar can work wonders. Especially in cases where someone complains about receiving a lot of ad hoc tasks or requests for project consultations. To solve this, while planning each week, everyone should simply set, for example, 2 events in their calendars which must be used to write articles. If someone comes and asks for help at that time — refuse politely and suggest another date but don’t stop writing.
5. Help your team
It sometimes happens that someone is trying hard and spends a lot of time writing, but it doesn’t bring the expected results. This is most often the case with people who have had little contact with creating content so far. In such situations, always try to help such a person and find out where the problem comes from. Perhaps the author doesn’t know where to start or got stuck and needs to overcome writer’s block. Pauses in writing also result from the fact that employees don’t do enough in-depth research and/or don’t prepare an outline of their work.
6. Lead by example
In order to effectively overcome your employees’ objections on creating content, you have to show them that you are no exception to the company standards, and the process of writing also applies to you. It is a well-known fact that the CEO is a person who always has the least time in the company, so if you show your employees that you can write an article and keep deadlines, you will have a very strong argument up your sleeve.
Most common objections
When the process of creating content is finally implemented in your company, you will probably have to face a lot of objections which will be used as excuses by your employees. The most common ones are:
- I don’t have time.
- I have other priorities.
- People keep adding things to my list ad hoc.
- I can’t write/I don’t like writing.
- Others write less (or don’t write at all) — so why do I have to?
As a person responsible for the content marketing process in Casbeg, I very often hear others stating: I don’t have time, I can’t deliver this article before the deadline. As a rule, I then ask one of the following three questions:
- Can any of the tasks preventing you from finishing the article be done by someone else?
- What would have to happen this week for you to deliver this article on time?
- Is there anything I can do to make it easier for you to write the text?
These are the key questions, the answers to which allow you to find quick and easily applicable solutions in most cases.
Consider all the objections that may arise in your company and try to eliminate them in advance or find solutions to potential problems.
It is also worth asking the employees about their previous copywriting experience and willingness to write articles. You may not be aware that you have someone in your team who likes writing and would like to write a few articles a month.
Implementing a repetitive process of creating content requires time and systematic work. This allows not only to increase the number of generated leads but also to position the company and its employees as an expert in a given sector. And this is a simple way to acquire greater and more serious enterprise projects and scale your business.